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Trump vs. Biden on combating gun violence

As is the case with so many issues, President Biden and former President Trump differ greatly on what should be done.
Trump Biden
Posted at 6:12 AM, May 13, 2024

For 10 weeks, Scripps News is going in-depth on the issues that will impact you as part of our Path to the White House series.

Last week, we dived into reproductive rights with special panels and reports. This week, we are spotlighting crime and gun violence.

The issue

Every corner of this country has been impacted by gun violence and crime. If you've been a victim, it may be the biggest issue for you this election.

Like so many issues, President Biden and former President Trump differ greatly on what should be done.

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Let's start with the similarities between Trump and President Biden on guns.

Take for instance the issue of bump stocks, devices that modify how fast a gun can be fired. Some claim that bump stocks turn semiautomatic guns into machine gun-like devices.

On this issue, President Biden and former President Trump both support a ban. In fact, Trump enacted a bump stock ban when he was in office.

When it comes to red flag laws, which temporarily remove firearms from someone deemed a threat, there is agreement as well. Former President Trump encouraged states to pass them during his first term.

Meanwhile, President Biden has also encouraged expansion and funded various state programs so they could expand.

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However, after those two issues, it's difficult to find any more similarities.

During a February speech to the National Rifle Association, Trump promised to block new gun laws if elected.

"When I am back in the Oval Office, no one will lay a finger on your firearms," Trump said.

Meanwhile, President Biden wants new restrictions.

"We need to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines," President Biden told a crowd in Las Vegas last year.

Regarding banning AR-15s, President Biden supports a ban. Trump does not.

On expanded background checks, President Biden supports them and just finalized a rule to close the gun show loophole.

Former President Trump was opposed to that rulemaking.

President Biden instituted a zero-tolerance policy for gun dealers who violate existing laws.

Former President Trump worries that a clerical error could shut down a business unfairly.

Additionally, Trump told the NRA this year he would repeal all of President Biden's gun executive orders if elected.

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Other ways to address gun violence

Of course, addressing crime and gun violence can involve more than just gun restrictions.

Former President Trump has vowed to send in the National Guard to cities struggling with gun violence. In a recent interview with Time magazine, he suggested he would be open to only giving federal grants to police departments that follow his reform ideas.

Meanwhile, President Biden has stressed that gun violence is down in the United States. Recent data shows that homicides declined by around 13% last year.

President Biden's Justice Department has spent millions on crime prevention task forces in recent years, including launching new task forces aimed at preventing carjacking.